National Security & Defense

The MOAB Attack on ISIS Was a Beautiful Bargain

Surveillance image of MOAB detonation in Afghanistan, April 14, 2017. (Photo: Department of Defense)
The Left is wrong again.

Once again, the Trumpophobic Left has proved that it will not give President Donald J. Trump credit for anything, not even erasing Islamofascist killers who are the sworn enemies of every American — even those who despise Trump.

Acting on what President Trump called his “total authorization,” the United States armed forces on Thursday dropped a GBU 43/B device onto a maze of tunnels and bunkers occupied by ISIS terrorists in eastern Afghanistan’s Nangahar Province. This Massive Ordnance Air Blast weapon affectionately is nicknamed the Mother of All Bombs (MOAB). America’s most powerful non-atomic armament blasted these catacombs of hate with the equivalent of eleven tons of TNT.

The delightful result: destruction of this terror facility, along with at least 36 ISIS murderers, who were blown to bits, crushed beneath the cascading rubble, or otherwise liquidated. President Trump called this raid “very, very successful.”

(Afghan officials said Sunday that the MOAB killed at least 94 ISIS members. Regardless, unless otherwise indicated, this opinion piece reflects the earlier, more conservative death toll.)

While Americans widely applauded this development, President Trump’s foes lined up to denounce this great news — and on the unlikeliest grounds: It cost too much.

These liberals didn’t utter a peep as Obama exploded America’s national debt from $10.62 trillion to $19.95 trillion — an 87.85 percent boom. Suddenly, as Business Insider observed, they had a collective spasm of fiscal conservatism and excoriated Trump via social media for what they consider the Mother of All Expenditures.

• “The ‘mother of all bombs’ dropped today in Afghanistan cost the US taxpayer $314 million,” James Melville moaned via Twitter. “And yet America can’t afford meals on wheels.”

• “Not 1 person in gov’t, can tell me this country doesn’t have enough money to fund social programs or water,” Tika Sumpter complained. “We just dropped 314 million.”

• “Useful context,” cracked Ian Millhiser. “Also, still a sh** load of money to spend on a mass killing authorized by a game show host.”

These and several comments got repeated across social media. This ignited news stories and additional comments, and — as happens too often these days — a manufactured controversy soon raged.

These liberal whiners totally miscalculated the cost of the MOAB that America lobbed at these bloodthirsty, anti-Semitic, homophobic, sadistic, homicidal ISIS scum. The price tag is not $314 million. Initial reports placed the price at $314 million for 20 MOABs, or about $16 million each. The Air Force announced on Friday, however, that each MOAB costs just $170,000.


So, for $170,000, President Trump vaporized no fewer than 36 ISIS murderers. That equals $4,722 per dead ISIS terrorist. By any measure, that is a bargain.

SLIDESHOW: The ‘Mother of All Bombs’

Given that any one of these ISIS butchers could drive a truck bomb into a U.S. military base in Afghanistan, level the American embassy in Pakistan, or fly to Mexico, run across the southern “border,” and detonate a bus full of American schoolchildren, these taxpayer dollars were spent beautifully.

If the early reports of each MOAB costing $16 million had remained accurate, it would have cost $445,000 per dead ISIS murderer. Since this price was too high for President Trump’s relentless critics, one wonders what figure would have satisfied them. $200,000? $100,000? $4,722?

For $170,000, President Trump vaporized no fewer than 36 ISIS murderers.

Rather than focus on the cost per neutralized terrorist, consider the price for each person whom this action kept alive and well. If each of those ISIS killers would have murdered just one man, woman, or child, it would have made sense to spend $445,000 to keep each potential ISIS victim breathing and happy. Of course, the more people these dead ISIS killers would have snuffed out, the lower the outlay per individual shielded from the fatal effects of militant Islam. Only the most hidebound pacifist could complain about $4,722 to extinguish a homicidal ISIS maniac.

(If Afghan authorities are correct, and the MOAB exterminated 94 ISIS parasites, that equals a mere $1,808.50 per ISIS bacterium. At that price, an individual personally could afford to sponsor the removal of one of these fanatics. Imagine: “This ISIS killer’s demise is brought to you by Mrs. Glenda Miller of Kalamazoo, Mich.”)

Another maddening aspect of this story is how the Left erupted without nailing down several basic facts. As the Daily Caller noted, none other than Edward Snowden kept the $314 million snowball rolling when he wrote on Thursday: “The bomb dropped today in the middle of nowhere, Afghanistan, cost $314,000,000.” He, in turn, cited a Los Angeles Times article, which also was wrong.

Even worse than botching the cost of each MOAB by 1,847-fold, major news organizations initially claimed that the MOAB was nearly as powerful as “Little Boy,” the atomic bomb that President Harry Truman dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, in August 1945. USA Today offered its readers a detailed graphic comparing the Hiroshima device and the MOAB. It claimed that Little Boy’s blast equivalent was 15 tons of TNT versus 11 tons for MOAB. In other words, President Trump slammed ISIS and eastern Afghanistan with 73 percent of the firepower that Truman rained down on Hiroshima.

Um, just one problem:

Little Boy leveled Hiroshima with the equivalent of 15,000 tons of TNT. So, USA Today was off by only a factor of 1,000. Thus, Trump hammered ISIS with a blow equal to 0.073 percent of Truman’s hit on Hirohito.

USA Today corrected this mistake. Nonetheless, the Media Research Center’s Tom Blumer calls it Trump Derangement Syndrome when a leading news outlet makes this contrast in the first place.

USA Today’s error gives away the fact that someone there actually believed that the U.S. military under Donald Trump — but not requiring his permission — dropped a bomb 73 percent as destructive as the Hiroshima A-bomb,” Blumer observed. “Further, those involved in reviewing the graphic before or perhaps immediately after it went live, which one would hope included reporters Jim Michaels and Tom Vanden Brook, either agreed with that comparison or were too naive to question it.”

Ironically, if President Trump had not pounded these vermin with a MOAB, and they successfully slaughtered Americans in Afghanistan or on U.S. soil, the very same people who slam Trump today would scream: “Trump didn’t keep us safe! Trump failed! Impeach Trump!” Their story would flip 180 degrees more swiftly than a pancake on the griddle at Denny’s.

Finally, it is impossible to calculate the priceless value of what America gained by showing Iran, North Korea, Russia, Syria, and Islamofascists everywhere that Obama’s tough-as-Kleenex policies are kaput, and America once again has a commander-in-chief who is worthy of that title.

Deroy Murdock — Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online.

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